As a design veteran, Rebecca Welch has learned a lot in her 25 years as a textile talent. Having held positions at the head of design firms and textile companies, Welch’s passion for window coverings has proven to be everlasting. Inspired by nature’s diversity and beauty, Welch has made her art balancing textiles with a strong connection, in both visual appearance and composition, to nature. Entering her fourteenth year as Director of Product Development at luxury textile brand Hartmann&Forbes, Welch has brought the brand closer to the natural world with soft natural fabric, paperweave, and grasscloth, a hand-loomed fabric from a variety of grasses, plants and vegetable fibers. Meet the organic Maker this week below in our Maker Monday Q&A.
Andrew Joseph: Vintage or new?
Rebecca Welch: I really love the mixture of the two. I appreciate meaningful family heirlooms mixed in the home with newer pieces. it’s very important to me. My home tells a story of who I am today and where I came from – the blending of old and new is part of who I am and how I design product. Likewise, my work is a combination of traditional weaving techniques mixed with new ideas, fibers and new ways of incorporating them to create a new design.
Rebecca has been rolling out naturally-sourced window and wall coverings for Hartmann&Forbes for over a decade.
Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?
Rebecca: Imaginative, Fulfilling, Meaningful
Andrew: Favorite place to view art?
Rebecca: I love museums, narrowing it down is tricky. But my favorite place to view art is in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have gone there since I was 5 with my family who all collect art. Throughout all the wonderful galleries, you experience different types of art and, often times, get to meet the artists. I love knowing the story and inspiration of their paintings, bronzes, pottery or woven rugs. Their different stories and experiences inspire my designs as well.
A natural Hartmann&Forbes weave covers the windows of this simplistic serene sitting room.
Andrew: What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?
Rebecca: Anything that has to do with designers’ ideas regarding their design aesthetic or trends. Hearing designers’ approaches to layering rooms with different design aspects is extremely beneficial for me to design product that helps the designer in their process and, ultimately, inspires them. There are so many great podcasts out there today, and to have that access to our clients and their process is absolutely amazing!! I will say that The Chaise Lounge, A Well-Designed Business and Business of Home podcasts are at the top of my list.
Andrew: If you made a documentary, what would it be about?
Rebecca: I have traveled all over the world for work and have experienced all the very talented people that weave our product for us. It literally does take a village to make handcrafted products. There are people with different religions, different ways of living and different types of looms and raw materials depending on their location. I respect them all and together we make beautiful products. I would love for everyone to see these amazing people, share the beauty of their lives and our respect for one another.
About The Maker | Rebecca Welch entered the world of interior design 25 years ago by way of her experiences in the window covering industry, as a design studio business owner, and having an education in business, fashion merchandising and interior design.
Now as Director of Product Development for Hartmann&Forbes for the last 13 years, she has traveled the world to design and source products including natural weaves, wallcoverings and soft natural fabrics.
She appreciates the beauty that nature provides and is inspired by the artisans that Hartmann&Forbes partners with who create the company’s unique products. She is always striving to stay ahead of the trends and find the newest way to mix our fibers and yarns.
Rebecca is also very involved in philanthropy, having been a board member on seven foundations including Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, Northwest Society of Interior Designers and the Museum of Man. She loves interior design and enjoys traveling and collecting art.
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